Tackling Stigma In A Hospital

So I’m drafting up a post about my trip to the hospital, but I feel the need to get this off my chest, the more I keep reflecting on it, the more it’s made me rather quite angry. And I think the best way of referring to it is ‘stigma’, someone hearing something which they obviously have a personal disapproval of.

When we were first seen by a nurse, we somehow got on to the topic of homebirth. I think I was telling her how I needed my pregnancy to be straight forward and problem free so that I could have my choice of birth. The moment I mentioned homebirth, she screamed at me ‘NO, DON’T HAVE A HOMEBIRTH!!’. She was adamant on telling me not to have one; I explained I had had one before and would be doing so again. She was very against homebirth, and I left that room wondering if a nurse was allowed to display and talk about her personal view in such a way? Luckily her scaremongering didn’t work with me & The Man, we’re strong enough to know that homebirth is a fantastic choice of place for a birth and all going well it will be how baby #3 will be born.

The next thing I faced was on the subject of Breastfeeding. I was shipped around the hospital and once I had finally got to the place they were going to examine me I met a couple of doctors who asked quite a lot of questions. The first was establishing how far we think we were in the pregnancy; I explained that I had only experienced one cycle and this most likely due to the fact I was exclusively breastfeeding. I was greeted with the words ‘So when did you stop Breastfeeding’.

I don’t know what led them to think I had stopped? Was it because I had said my baby was 15 months or that I was pregnant? Of course, I quickly corrected them; the looks said it all. Again, because my baby is 15 months or because I’m pregnant? They were shocked by my plans to continue, the lead gynaecologist went on to say some things, and I have to admit with worrying about a new baby and trying to stay calm, I had to switch myself off from the comments. He went on to say something about Dylan eating hamburgers when it’s unnecessary or something when the new baby comes along. Pretty sure they assumed I wasn’t going to be feeding two at once.

Have to admit that’s not my plan, but as the WHO guidelines recommend, they are to be breastfed until they are two years of age. If the baby wants to continue, so be it. Coming up against these ‘health professionals’ yesterday and their opionions have not swayed me in anything I decided to do. I just wish maybe it was the opposite that I experienced instead. Maybe words of encouragement, maybe a well done for taking such a natural birthing route and for continuing to give my son the best by continuing to breastfeed him.